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Database of invasive annual grass spatial products for the western United States January 2010 to February 2021

March 21, 2022

Invasive annual grasses (IAGs) present a persistent challenge for the ecological management of rangelands, particularly the imperiled sagebrush biome in western North America. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), and Ventenata spp. are spreading across sagebrush rangelands and already occupy at least 200,000 kilometers squared (km sq.) of the intermountain west. The loss and degradation of native plant communities caused by IAGs threatens the persistence of sagebrush obligate species such as the Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). IAGs convert sagebrush landscapes to monocultures of non-native grasslands that substantially increase the risk of wildfire and degrade important ecosystem services including forage production and quality, soil stability, and carbon sequestration. As a result, the economic consequences of IAGs are substantial.

Successful management of IAG invasions depends on extensive and accurate geospatial data that is accessible and interpretable by those charged with managing landscapes across the sagebrush biome. The past decade has seen a rapid growth in these products, yet researchers and managers both report a persistent research-implementation gap between the availability of products and their application. To address this problem, we first conducted a systematic literature review to inventory spatial products released over the past decade that map cheatgrass, medusahead, and Ventenata within the western U.S. at regional and national scales. We then developed a series of informational data resources to guide land managers in understanding and selecting the best available spatial data for their management needs.

This Excel-readable .xlsx file version database product represents a searchable, filterable, and sortable collection of summary information for each IAG spatial data product, published from January 2010 to February 2021, we summarized as part of our review. An additional, machine-readable .csv file version of the database is also available for users.